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Camarillo Skyway Playhouse‘s version of Noel Coward’s Private Lives is belly-aching delicious. Directed by two of Camarillo Skyway Playhouse’s favorites, Mark Heulitt and Dean Johnson, the comedy makes a fabulous use of the space and local talent. The comedy stars CSP favorite, Genevieve Levin (Much Ado About Nothing, Sylvia, Little Women the Musical), as Amanda, the one time married wife of Elyot (Alan Waserman) [who is now honeymooning with Sibyl (Lauren Zika)] and now on her honeymoon with second husband Victor (Bill Sweeney). Rounding out the cast is a hilarious Theresa Secor (Much Ado About Nothing) as French maid Louise who was an audience favorite.
The famous comedy is one of the most sophisticated, entertaining plays ever written. Elyot and Amanda, once married and now honeymooning with new spouses at the same hotel, meet by chance, reignite the old spark and impulsively elope. After days of being reunited, they again find their fiery romance alternating between passions of love and anger. Their aggrieved spouses appear and a roundelay of affiliations ensues as the women first stick together, then apart, and new partnerships are formed.
Ms. Levin whom I found to be a stellar and consummate actor in Little Women the Musical was on fire during the opening night performance. Her feisty and feminist Amanda was quite as I imagine her Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing must have been. And yet at times you saw her layers being peeled back and the hopes and insecurities of a woman in love. And it certainly was a bonus that she has such fabulous and realistic chemistry with her co-star Waserman. In fact their chemistry only grew from the first act on the connecting honeymoon balconies to the third act when they exchanged some of the cutest moments in the background as their soon to be ex spouses (Sweeney and Zika) quarreled and demonstrated a parallel spark and fierce chemistry as the lights went down.
It is with fingers crossed that we’ll see more of Levin, Waserman, Sweeney, Zika and Secor at Camarillo Skyway Playhouse. They are all fabulous actors who brought their A-game to the stage. Voices were projected loud and clear with excellent enunciation and they made fabulous use of the stage and space. And the show flew by so fast that members of the audience weren’t even positive it was intermission time after Act I.
This wonderfully entertaining production runs Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm to September 16th. The Camarillo Skyway Playhouse is located at 330 Skyway Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010. You can reserve tickets at (805) 388-5716 or at www.skywayplayhouse.org.
Location: Camarillo Skyway Playhouse, 330 Skyway Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010
Parking: Free well-lit lot next to the theatre
Seating: General admission.
Ages: 13+ for adult content including marital strife/violence and drinking
Accessible: The theatre is entirely accessible with ramps in and out of the parking lot. The front row offers excellent leg room to stretch out if needed.
Disclaimer: My ticket was generously comped by CSP but all opinions are my own.